The This Is Us actor on navigating the next phase of his career.
It’s rare that you can describe an actor who is only nineteen as seasoned — but Niles Fitch has certainly earned it. Having recently begun filming the fifth season of family drama This Is Us, which returns October 27th, Niles Fitch has his eyes on the future.
Ahead of its release, Fitch fills us in on how it’s been growing up in the industry, his upcoming role in Disney+ original Secret Society of Second-Born Royals, and why he’s ready to build on his years of success as a teen in the next phase of his acting career. Now that he’s got the taste for film, the fashion world and even being a superhero, what comes next for Fitch promises to be worth paying attention to.
What have you been up to the last few months? How has quarantine changed things for you?
I feel like when quarantine first started I was trying to stay motivated, and then as soon as I got my routine down everything happened with George Floyd. Social justice is really important to me, so then quarantine became trying to navigate that period of time and trying to use my platform to the best of my best ability to help.
[…] I am really loving the conversation that has started and getting to see all my peers — millennials, people from 17-25 — out protesting. That was really beautiful to see, but it is still just a conversation right now, and we need to see laws being put in place coming out of all these conversations. With the election coming up, I am hoping to see actual change and reform. It is a great step for us to be talking about it, but that is just the first step.
This Is Us, a show that you’ve been a part of since the beginning, is preparing to release its fifth season in the fall. What has it been like growing up with your character Randall?
It was helpful to be growing up while playing Randall, because it made the character more authentic. Everything that he was going through, I was going through in my actual life… It was like I was in competition with myself sometimes, but it has been really fun to grow up playing a character that is going through the same things that I was as a teenager.
In addition to another season of This is Us, you’re about to star in Secret Society of Second-Born Royals on Disney+. Was there anything new for you preparing for a role in the superhero genre?
I had to do all the weight gain and muscle building that goes into playing a superhero — I was in the gym going from 130lbs to 160lbs, which isn’t easy at 17! It was a lot to do to be physically ready and to work on stunts, but it was a super fun experience. I can’t wait to do something like that again because I loved it so much.
The cast is very young — was the dynamic on set different for you, compared to other projects where you’ve been one of the only younger actors?
I have always been the one that is learning and paying attention, because I have always been surrounded by more experienced actors. It was a really great learning experience for me, and it was actually the last set that my mum is obligated to come with me on because I turned 18 while filming. It was kind of my first little look at being an actor as an adult.
What kind of projects do you see yourself being involved with in the future?
Like you said, in This Is Us I have always played a character that is my age. In the show, I am becoming a college boy, I am growing up, so that is really what I want to start doing in my career. For me, it would be starting to do feature films and I would love to be able to do some action stuff again. I also really want to get into fashion — I love the beauty and the art of fashion. But in general, I am trying to let my work reflect my transition into being a young man.